ePlans system and desktop monitor

The ePlans System: Honolulu DPP’s Imminent Transition Deadline

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As of July 1, 2023, the City and County of Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) ushers in a new era for building permit applications. All commercial and residential projects will now be submitted through the DPP’s Electronic Plan Review, or ePlans system, thus paving the way for a more streamlined, efficient, and environmentally friendly building permit process​1​.

The shift towards ePlans is a significant milestone for DPP and it signifies a broader commitment to modernization and efficiency. The ePlans system promises to enhance customer communication, offer financial benefits through the reduction of paper usage, printing, storage, and transportation costs. Furthermore, it allows customers to have their plans reviewed online, eliminating the need for in-person meetings and making the process more accessible and convenient for applicants​2​.

The transition process to ePlans is carefully designed to ensure a smooth shift for all stakeholders. Importantly, paper plans that have been submitted no later than June 30, 2023, at 4:30 pm will continue to be processed as submitted. Any paper plans currently in the queue will expire 365 days following the date of application for a permit. However, DPP will continue to accept paper plans for civil drawings associated with commercial building permit applications until a phasing process is eventually established​1​.

The submission process via ePlans remains straightforward and accessible. Applicants are required to prepare their electronic plans following the Permit Plan Format Checklist. Once the Internet Building Permit Application has been submitted, the applicant will receive a link to submit remaining plans/documents via ePlans. The ePlans system then automatically notifies all ePlan reviewers when plans are ready for review, including DPP, Board of Water Supply, Honolulu Fire Department, Department of Health [Wastewater Branch], and the Hawaii Community Development Authority [HCDA]​2​.

One of the distinct advantages of the ePlans system is the ability for applicants to check the status of their applications 24/7. The platform offers a comprehensive overview of the application’s status, including completed reviews and outcomes of individual department reviews. This feature promises to enhance transparency and keep applicants informed about the progress of their applications at every step of the way​2​.

However, it’s important to note that not all types of plans can be submitted via ePlans. The system currently does not include plan submissions for master tract homes​2​.

In the midst of this transition, the DPP strongly encourages design professionals to familiarize themselves with the ePlans process. The benefits of this change extend beyond the efficiency and environmental savings. The transition to ePlans is a significant step towards the DPP’s goal of improving the permitting process, reducing processing times, and ultimately making the building permit application process more customer-friendly.

In conclusion, the transition to ePlans is a significant stride towards a more streamlined, transparent, and efficient building permit application process. It signifies the DPP’s commitment to modernization and service improvement, ultimately benefiting applicants and the wider community alike.

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